PARSIPPANY, NJ: Coyne Public Relations has won AOR duties for the Firehouse Subs brand and the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.
The bulk of Coyne’s work with Firehouse Subs is crisis communications. The agency is also helping the brand enhance day-to-day storytelling and is supporting Firehouse Subs on brand initiatives, such as marketing promotions for sub launches or community days, said Liz Slobodian, director of PR for Firehouse Subs.
“We also want to promote our heartfelt service stories,” she said. “We have a network of franchisees across the country who have been donating food to hospitals, so Coyne is helping us enhance that. We also launched a family meal deal to cater to the at-home experience of being in quarantine.”
Coyne is also supporting the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with general PR counsel. As the brand’s charitable arm, the foundation has granted more than $50 million to public safety organizations since it was founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“The foundation celebrates 15 years this year,” said Slobodian. “Sometimes the foundation is an afterthought to the brand, so Coyne has been instrumental in identifying them as their own entity.”
Jennifer Kamienski, EVP of consumer lifestyle, and EVP Tim Schramm are leading the account team.
Coyne was supposed to begin working on the account in April, but started a month earlier with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, said Slobodian. The firm won the account in March after eight agencies pitched for the business in November. Budget information was not disclosed.
Incumbent the Zimmerman Agency had worked on the account since March 2009. A representative from the firm was not available for comment.
The company brought on a new agency partner because it needed a firm to provide crisis comms and a fresh take on storytelling, said Slobodian.
“Zimmerman really helped to put our brand on the map, and they were great partners,” she said. “They started with us when we were in 500 restaurants; they grew with us.”
Firehouse Subs was founded by two former firefighter brothers in 1994. It now has more than 1,180 restaurants in 45 states, Puerto Rico, Canada and non-traditional locations via more than 525 small business owners, according to a statement from the company.